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Poster: bluedevil Date: Oct 2, 2008 11:25am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: top stupid questions series

I also pay each and every week and fight for care but I also have the great added benefit that my wife and child have Czech passports, giving me benefits as an EU spouse, so that every year when the family goes back to Prague we get many of our basic needs (annual checkups, exams, etc) taken care of by a former pinkie commie national health care system that is incredibly well run and delivers great service. They (the Czech) are now getting a blend of both nationalized and private health care - so everyone is guaranteed basic levels of health care while those that can can pay for other services if they desire. Not a bad way to go.

Am I the only one offended by the fact that people apparently like Palin because she is just like them? Well then they are morons. When I take my car to the garage, it's because I expect the guy there to do a better job than I can do. Same with my dentist. Seems odd I would not want a better educated, more intelligent person than myself sitting in the Executive Branch (or in Cheney's view, that grey area b/w the Executive and Legislative branches accountable to neither). But what do I know? I'm a left-leaning liberal so therefore my opinons can be immediately discounted and disregarded.

lib·er·al (lbr-l, lbrl)
adj.
1.
a. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.
b. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.
c. Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism.
d. Liberal Of, designating, or characteristic of a political party founded on or associated with principles of social and political liberalism, especially in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States.

Or as Les might say:
To defy the laws of tradition, is a crusade only of the brave....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=231PT-5nKhY

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Poster: William Tell Date: Oct 2, 2008 11:37am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: we done good, and sometimes bad

Couldn't agree more about the analogy (taking in the car). That's why the "prudence" factor we spoke of a while back is sooo important for me. Of course I want someone that will NOT have a knee jerk reaction as CinC! I want them to have had enough experience to absolutely agonize over all the subtle aspects of the crisis, whichever it happens to be, even if it means they appear hamstrung to those that are convinced they have the answers on all that is right and wrong in their black and white world. There will be plenty of time to move forward once a decision has been made (unless you believe we face a number of all or nothing armageddon scenarios where time is of the essence; I think those are few and far between).

The scary thing is, however, that the majority of us US style Americans at any given time just don't measure up to my elist notions of well-educated, critical thinking, historically aware World travelers. At various points in the last 50 yrs, a majority of us has been 1) utterly racist, 2) anti-science, 3) completely sexist, 4) hedonistic selfish bastards. On the other hand, we have 1) literally saved the World once or twice, 2) put a clown or two on the moon, 3) produced the only culture that so rabidly and effectively self-evaluates (witness this thread), and 4) provided the best soundtrack for the whole damn time!

Frustrating as Hell, but wouldn't rather be anywhere else for the time being...

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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Oct 2, 2008 12:19pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: we done good, and sometimes bad

We are a great country despite ourselves.

Believing that the president has near unlimited powers and actually steers the course and welfare of this country is the grand mistake of the American people. Moderation will always prevail in our system of things. Radical legislation whether left or right leaning will never pass muster until it becomes watered down or sold out, the original intent becomes meaningless. All things in government are drawn to or negotiated to the middle - the only place where agreement can be made given our contentious houses.

This is precisely why we continue on. Despite all of our best efforts in electing a bunch of second rate fuck ups, the wisdom of our founding fathers saw to it that a system of checks and balances as well as limited powers would prevent even the worst of presidents from taking us down.


Which means, as Mr. Natural so succinctly put it, "It don't mean shit" when it comes to who you vote for.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Oct 2, 2008 12:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: we done good, and sometimes bad

"All things in government are drawn to or negotiated to the middle - the only place where agreement can be made given our contentious houses."

I tend to agree that has been true during the course of most of our history and that we seem to do best when we have one party in control of one branch and another in the other. However, we've had a rubber stamp congress for 6 of the last 8 years that hardly, if ever, bucked the wishes of the administration they now belatedly seek to distance themselves from. That doesn't mean some legislation didn't get watered down, but come on, you think the Patriot Act was a middle of the road piece of legislation? That was rammed through w/o anyone reading or truly debating the same. Indeed, I think one of the biggest problems is people don't really even know what the hell they are voting on when a bill comes up - the true work is in committee and all kinds of extraneous crap gets thrown in the mix.

But at the end of the day, it's still better to own a politician than be one. Just ask Cheney's friends....



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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Oct 2, 2008 12:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: we done good, and sometimes bad

Well, since I'm not much of a terrorist or criminal, I didn't find much wrong with the Patriot Act. It took away less of my personal rights and freedoms than the local smoking ban.

But, I'll agree with you, and since the opposition was not heard from for six years, what exactly were they doing? Were they fighting for and protecting your personal rights at every turn? Were they being good politicians in terms of being true to their ideological leanings?

The short answer is no, fuck no. The democrats in congress let George have his way, just like they did with Reagan...as long as they could bring home the bacon like there was no tomorrow. Spend, spend, spend baby! As long as they could show their constituents the money, save their job for re-election and have a whipping boy to lash at the end of the day, it was happy times. (I won't let the Republicans slide on this issue either.)

I don't know about the rest of y'all, but I've never seen a government spend itself into prosperity. Nor have I seen one tax it's society into prosperity.

I gotta think when it comes to government and politicians both, that less is more.

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Oct 2, 2008 12:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: we done good, and sometimes bad

yes and no, Earl.

You make an excellent point about the spineless democrats. They rolled over to Bush like dogs begging for scraps, and did the same w/Reagan. (I'm looking at you, Hillary). They cared more about their elections than standing up to the war in '03, then cried about it later when it all went to hell. No sympathy there.

But I just don't buy the whole "less is more" philosophy. You must have SOME regulation, otherwise it's putting the Foxes (Ken Lays of the world) in charge of the hen house.

Plus, if I'm gonna elect some clown to a six-figure salary job, with all manner of perks and privileges (free health care among them), I expect him or her to do a good deal of fucking work while they're on the job...not just wear a nice suit, go to local ribbon cutttings, collect a paycheck and take money from lobbyists.

Government service is public service, and while I agree spending like a drunken sailor (I'm looking at you, Bush) is no way to go, thinking and acting on new ways of IMPROVING civic life for all of us--keeping roads and bridges in good condition, keeping the air and water clean, etc., is important and I want them to WORK to make it so.

Also, you may not personally feel the effects of the Patriot act, but the taxi driver who was mistaken for a terrorist, held without charges, then beaten and killed.....well, he would probably argue differently if he could (See "Taxi to the Dark Side" or read the book "The Dark Side" for the sickening details of his and other cases similar).

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Poster: William Tell Date: Oct 2, 2008 1:30pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: we done good, and sometimes bad

I think it abundantly clear that though the pure ideal of "free market" might be grand, as the pure ideal of socialism might as well, the current situation requires regulation of various sorts; we simply have no way out of that being the case given we have "gub-er-mint" (as Ronnie would have said) doing as much as it does public service wise...we have all sorts of regulations for the common good; the surprising thing is that with respect to the market, we keep going back and forth and not learning from our mistakes (what transactions HAVE to be regulated for the greater good, and which do not, etc., etc.).

Alrighty, we could go on all day; I will say I am looking forward to the clowns tonight, Mr Earl!

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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Oct 2, 2008 1:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: we done good, and sometimes bad

I'm gonna turn the sound down and pretend she's in a Van Halen video.

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Oct 2, 2008 1:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: we done good, and sometimes bad

another way of putting it:

In Capitalism, man exploits man.
In Socialism, it's exactly the opposite.

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Oct 2, 2008 12:39pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: we done good, and sometimes bad

Not to mention the record number (more than 700) of "signing statements" Bush used to avoid override votes for a number of very serious policy issues, especially regarding rendition of "enemy combatants" to sercret CIA torture cells, warrantless wiretapping of US citizens, and much more.

Your point about the Patriot Act is spot on. The world did indeed change since 9/11 and while security should and does remain a vital concern, Bush and Co. have done so much to reduce the very freedoms that makes the US as great a country as it's been, that what we end up keeping "secure" hardly resembles that country at all.

John McCain himself spoke out against the use of torture (and he oughta know), and the efforts by Cheney and co. to rationalize its use should make any real American who wants to be different than the terrorist scum who torture all the time sick to their stomachs.

Add on the despicable attempts to argue that the President alone should have authority to decide whether Habeus Corpus should be denied "enemy combatants" without ANY judiciary review, and you have just a few examples of who you vote for really does matter.

The checks and balances of the 3 branches have never been as out of whack as they are now, and another tilt far right to the Supreme Court could easily put us over the edge. (Although I do give credit to the current bench--even Scalia, who told the Bushies that they had to be kidding with their efforts to take supreme control over habeus--for making the right decision in that particular case).

Still, no matter what your politcal leanings are, we should not be cavalier about electing the people who lead the country. Voting does matter, and for a lot of people, it's the only voice we have. Treat that right like it's nonsense, and you'll end up eventually w/the kind of banana republics they have in the most dangerous parts of the world.

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Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Oct 2, 2008 12:30pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: we done good, and sometimes bad

You are correct. That is why it makes me crazy when people point the finger at one individual (the Pres) concerning triumphs and/or failures during their term, like the Congress & Senate do not exist.

Oh Well. On a side note: The job of president for the next 4 years will be horrible, so we are basically voting 'our' candidate into 4 years of hell. I'm thinking whichever party wins this term will not win the next.